photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
This photograph from the 1940s shows violin maker Kitty Smith (1912-2005) checking the back of a violin. Kitty said:
The back of a violin is shaped so that it has about five different thicknesses – a variation of 1/64th of an inch (about half a millimetre) can alter the tone”.
Kitty was the daughter of Arthur Edward Smith MBE (1880-1976). A E Smith & Co was the leading violin house in Australia from the 1900s to the 1970s and every notable violinist who visited Australia called at the Smith’s shop for adjustment or repair of their precious instruments. Kitty served her apprenticeship and later worked with her father and had the opportunity to examine and repair the suburb instruments belonging to the leading soloists of the day such as Fritz Kreilser, Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern.
This is one of a series of photographic prints given to the Museum when we purchased a string quartet (two violins, a viola and a cello) made by Kitty Smith.
Post by Lynne McNairn
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